Wedding Customs of History and Heritage: Handfasting

Handfasting Custom
A contemporary popular addition in today’s wedding ceremony is to include a symbolic ritual between the bride and groom.  This custom can have ancient or modern roots and come from a variety of cultural traditions such as: Handfasting An ancient wedding ritual often associated with Celtic or Pagan roots.  The wrists of the bride and groom were tied together during the ceremony until the pledge had been made between them at which time the couple are untied.   However, some traditions the cord was not untied until the marriage was consummated! Today, the Handfasting ritual (also referred to as Handfasting or Hand Tying)  typically consists of tying the right hands of the couple to be to be married with ribbon(s), chord or sash while they exchange their vows.
The colors selected for the cord, ribbon or sash for the Handfasting ceremony each have a significant meaning:
  • White is for peace, sincerity and devotion
  • Grey is for balance and neutrality
  • Gold is for intelligence, energy, prosperity, and longevity
  • Silver is for values, creativity and protection
  • Light Blue is for understanding and patience
  • Dark Blue is a safe journey and longevity
  • Pink is for romance, honor, partnership and happiness
  • Purple is for sentimentality, faithfulness and goodness
  • Green is for health, prosperity, luck, fertility and beauty
  • Red is for courage, strength, passion and fertility
  • Yellow is for wisdom and harmony
  • Brown is for earth, grounding, telepathy and home
  • Black is for wisdom, vision, success and strength
Other customs rooted in heritage and history include Breaking The Glass Ceremony, Garland Ceremony or Lei Ceremony, Celtic Oathing Stone, Circling, Truce Bells and more. You can read more about these and other options here.

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